By: Voltaonlinegh.com |
Residents in Keta Municipality in the Volta Region have been thrown into a state of fear and panic as five persons have been admitted at the Keta Municipal Hospital from strange dog bites.
The five victims who are all children between the ages of one to eight years were bitten between Monday 12 and Tuesday, 13thOctober 2018 by an unidentified dog which is suspected to be rabies infected.
DAILY GUIDE’s preliminary investigations revealed that the bites were first recorded in Kedzikope and Tegbi in the Keta Municipality.
According to the Keta Municipal Director of Health Services, Ms Perfect Titiati, the bites were inflicted, “at the upper part of the victims’ bodies towards the heart and brain.”
“Even though it has not been confirmed that the dog is infected with rabies, the nature of the bites is highly suggestive,” a statement signed by Ms Titiati said. To prevent further infection and any fatal outcomes, all the victims have been given anti-rabies treatment (post-exposure prophylaxis).
Kill All Stray Dogs
A circular from the Municipal Health Directorate has therefore warned all residents in the Municipality to be on the alert and stay away from all high risk areas.
They have also been directed to “kill all stray dogs” in the community since the said dog which is suspected to be rabies-infected cannot be identified and “is likely to infect other dogs.”
Relatives of the affected victims told DAILY GUIDE that since the victims were children, they have not been able to describe the dog. To this end, they have mounted a search for the dog, while local radio stations have been making announcements to help locate the dog.
Prompt Report of Dog Bites
All Health staff, local media, authorities, institutions and other stake-holders in the Municipality have been asked to report on all cases of dog bite and promote public awareness on dog bites and rabies.
Furthermore, persons with the following symptoms: headache, neck pain, nausea, fever, fear of water, anxiety, agitation, abnormal sensations or pain at wound site with close contact of infected saliva through bites & scratches, should be reported to the hospital immediately.
Madam Titiati advised owners of pets like dogs and cats to vaccinate them immediately to prevent outbreaks.
Rabies is transmitted to humans from domestic animals like dogs that is caused by virus and is spread to people with infected saliva through bites and scratches. In unvaccinated humans, rabies is almost always fatal if post-exposure prophylaxis is not administered before the onset of severe symptoms. The rabies virus infects the central nervous system causing disease in the brain and eventually death.